By L. Karageorgos
One ferry boat company owner on Wednesday picked a high-profile manner in which to demand the last signature remaining - in this case by the relevant minister - for approval to begin a new route to various Aegean islands, holding a hunger strike in the very minister's office.
Golden Star Ferries owner Giorgos Stefanou spoke to reporters and even addressed an AM radio program from within Minister Panagiotis Kouroumblis' office at the port of Piraeus, where he charged that the latter is intentionally blocking his company's commencement of a route connecting the eastern Attica (greater Athens area) port of Rafina with the Cretan city of Irakleio -- and serviing several popular Cyclades islands in between.
In a later reaction, Kouroumblis and his close aides said the former would have signed off on the new route already, if not for a letter by a competitor (HSW), which claimed that one of its vessels and the Golden Star ferry boat would reach the harbour serving the island of Santorini at the exact same time.
The minister's office also claimed that local authorities on Santorini have complained that a part of a jetty at the island's harbor has caved it. An urgent inspection at the site was ordered, the minister's aides claimed.